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‘Fitch’s assumption on Kuwait future generations fund weak’ – MP Safa Al Hashem rejects speculation

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MP submits bill on women’s social security rights

MP Safa Al-Hashem

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 16: MP Safa Al-Hashem has rejected the possible conjecture put forth by Fitch Ratings recently about Kuwait having to dip into the future generations’ funds.

She said it is a weak assumption, as the funds is intended solely for the welfare of the coming generations, due to which any withdrawals from it is unacceptable.

MP Al-Hashem affirmed that the financial deficit issue is a warning bell that had rung on numerous occasions in the recent years, adding, “If the government properly tended to the matter and diversified the sources of state income or at least expanded on the petrochemical products, we wouldn’t have reached this level”.

She explained that, irrespective of whether Fitch or other credit rating agencies believe it or not, there are other ways to address the issue such as strengthening the internal economy of the country by bolstering its two current pillars – the private and public sectors.

This can be accomplished if both the Civil Service Commission and the State Ministry for Planning were to implement a clear and elaborate course of action and achieve an equilibrium with the two sectors. The MP highlighted that there are multiple initiatives from both the parliament and the government to increase the financial capabilities of the country, but almost every directive has met some kind of blunders that stopped them on their tracks. She cited the Silk City mega project, which she believes is an outstanding vision but the project lacked a solid feasibility study.

MP Al-Hashem stressed that the Fitch assumption is warranted, and this matter will hopefully be taken seriously by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled and his new cabinet.

In another development, MP Askar Al-Enzi has submitted a bill to the National Assembly concerning women’s social security rights. He stressed that the bill is aimed at ensuring a good standard of living for women in line with the fundamental principles of Islam and article 9 of the Kuwait Constitution. The MP said the social security law No. 61/1976 does not cover some aspects that are regarded as important for women employers, employees and even housewives.

He suggested in the first article of the bill that the pension provided to women who enjoy social security, irrespective of whether they are married, divorced or widowed, and have two children or more, should be set at 70 percent of the last salary they earned if they worked for 15 years or less. And if they worked for more than 15 years, the pension should be decided as per the social security law based on the Amiri Decree No. 61/1976.

The second article of the bill is concerning women employers on who the conditions included in article 5 of the social security law are applicable.

Article 3 of the bills is concerning the situation of married women employees who are covered by social security but do not have children.

Article 4 of the bill allows retired women to work in either the public or private sector and obtain salaries besides the pensions they receive.

Article 5 of the bills gives housewives who have one or more children the right to receive pension of the same value as the basic salary of a similar qualification and not less than KD 500. The bill stipulates that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) will determine the provisions and decisions needed for such a bill to be executed.

Meanwhile, MP Dr. Adel Al- Damkhi sent a letter to the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim, requesting to allocate two hours of the coming session to form a committee which will be tasked with following up and studying the consequences of the Court of Cassation’s verdict to dismiss 560 experts of Ministry of Justice. He added that the committee will also be tasked with identifying those responsible for the mistakes which led to this scandal.

Furthermore, Head of Parliament’s Committee for Budgets and Final Accounts Adnan Abdulsamad said the committee discussed the budget and final account of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) for the 2018/2019 fiscal year as well as the observations stated by the State Audit Bureau and the Bureau of Financial Controllers.

He explained that the committee discussed the effectiveness of the monitoring departments in NCCAL after which it discovered that the monitoring process has some shortcomings in terms of following up illegal appointments, which resulted in providing salaries to those who were not deserving. These shortcomings included lack of following up the collection of dues owed to NCCAL, which resulted in increase in the dues owned to the government to reach KD 425 million. The committee also revealed some mistakes in terms of bank remittances.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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